Pachypodium namaquanum wakes up mid-summer

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

This plant went dormant pretty early in the spring and dropped all its leaves. Just yesterday I saw fresh activity, which struck me as odd given the season... but no complaints here! The other winter growers here (Fouquieria species) have slowed way down for the summer but not actually quit growing yet. I guess that's because I'm doing what Mad at Grigsby cactus told me... watering them to keep them in leaf, instead of cutting off the water when they show signs of fatigue.

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
Yardley, PA

I water mine all winter and some will start waking up early because of it. It is always exciting to see new growth. You know spring is coming.

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

So then in theory the plant thinks winter is coming, given that's when it grows. Well, the days are getting shorter, but not by much. It gets water twice as often when it's in leaf. At some point I guess I should reward good behavior with more water.

I found it interesting that those 3 new leaves are all on the south (sun-facing) side of the plant, which gets sun for most of the day.

My P. lamerei plants are about to shed their spring leaves and grow a new set. They have two growth spurts a year, one in April and the other in mid-summer. You can tell one is coming because the existing leaves yellow on the edges and a few develop brown spots. The plant is slurping the nutrients back out of the leaves and then they'll just dry up and drop. Meanwhile you can see teeny tiny buds sprouting at the head of the plant. It's not a sign of nutrient deficiency, it's just the growth cycle.

Just like what happens with my pineapple Euphorbia. When the leaves and flowers start turning purple on the edges, you know the plant is gearing up to grow a new set.

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Cool plant Baja! Great picture too!

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hi Baja,
I keep my P. lamerei in bright light but no direct sun in the summer months. It stays green and grows great all summer. It loses its leaves for a short time during the winter--maybe a month.

Thumbnail by NancySLAZ
Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Thanks, Sue. It framed itself. The plant does look pretty formidable from that angle.

That's a great looking plant, Nancy, and with an offset no less.

I wonder why you shelter that plant.... killer heat, perhaps? All my Pachypodiums are in full sun for most of the day. I suppose if I gave them some protection, they'd grow faster and leafier. Like many plants here. But I'm not in any hurry. Most of my Pachys lose their leaves in the winter, except P. rosulatum var. rosulatum and P. lamerei, which seems to shed its leaves right before starting new growth, regardless of the season.

This message was edited Jul 25, 2011 2:16 PM

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Yes, killer heat for sure. The sun is so intense that it just fries the leaves. They turn brown and crispy and drop off. Here's my P. geayi too. It also is in a protected place. By the way, they have been doing great since I moved them to s-h in the winter.

This message was edited Jul 26, 2011 1:37 PM

Thumbnail by NancySLAZ
Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Pachypodium makayense here is waking up late for summer.

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

This is the second round of summer flowers on P. bispinosum. A few weeks ago the mealy bugs arrived in force on this plant to feast on the little buds developing in there, but I think I successfully beat them back. They clearly came for the parts of the plant that were sprouting new growth.

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

An update on the first plant. It's amazing how fast it kicks into gear. Bright green spines. Yippee!

Thumbnail by Baja_Costero
Port Elizabeth, South Africa(Zone 10a)

Yeah - I hope mine will look the same next season - just lost its leaves, sure sign that things are hotting up here.

Yardley, PA

Baja, they are great looking plants

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